Altura Mining has completed the first stage of commissioning at its lithium project in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.
The project remains on track to deliver first lithium concentrate during the current quarter. Altura expects the first shipment will take place in July.
Stockpiled, crushed ore is now available to feed into the processing plant, according to Altura, with its team completing wet commissioning of the crushing circuit. More than 100,000t of feed ore has been mined and is ready for processing.
Altura has shifted its wet commissioning focus to the high pressure grinding roller (HPGR) and ball mill.
The entire commissioning phase is scheduled for completion by the end of next month before the operation is then ramped up towards full throughout capacity.
Altura managing director James Brown said the commissioning milestone marked a significant step for the company.
“We have to remember this was a greenfields site that required the procurement and installation of all site infrastructure,” Brown said.
“I am very confident of our team’s ability to commission a processing plant with both dense media separation and flotation circuits, and transform us into a producer.”
Altura’s remaining milestones for commissioning include: turning on the main power plant (June 1), HPGR commissioning, ball mill commissioning, dense media separation modules commissioning, classification circuit, and product upgrade and load out circuits.
The company’s production target for stage one is 220,000t/y at 6 per cent Li2O. A final investment decision on a stage two expansion project is expected before the end of the financial year.